Nursing home care is expensive. Everybody knows it. Typical full-time, institutional care can cost between $60,000 and $100,000 per year, and costs continue to go up every year. Do you or your parents have a million dollars saved away to pay for five years of nursing home care? Do you have enough saved up for ten years? As life expectancy rises and medical science advances, this topic needs to be addressed.
If you or your parents have worked to build a business, long term care planning is essential. The objective of a good long term plan is to minimize the financial impact and burden of long term care on loved ones. If you have long term care concerns, it is usually better to transition a family business at retirement, not by will. The decisions involved are not easy, and involve significant weighing of risks and objectives.
The medicaid rules regarding long term care public assistance are complicated. The objective is to ensure that public funds are not used to pay nursing home bills for people who can afford to pay their own way. The unfortunate part is that the rules are strict enough that some people who actually have no oney wind up relying on their children to pay their bills. In other situations, the spouse of an individual who needs long term care becomes quickly impoverished due to long term care.
The first rule to understand is that no one can qualify for LTC assistance with more than $2,000 in countable assets. The answer to whether your specific assets are countable depends on your specific circumstances, which is why legal guidance is important. Sometimes individuals have assets that they don’t even know that they have, which can lead to a disqualification or even a penalty. Planning up front can prevent this from happening, which can save family members tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. The other situation that can arise is where the department of social services makes a determination that requires a hearing to resolve. DSS decisions are highly time sensitive, and hearings require an understanding of the rules and which evidence will be the most persuasive to an administrative law judge.